The Trump administration issued an order giving military personnel more authority at the border.
The so-called "cabinet order" was signed by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, not the president. It authorizes troops to defend U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents if they get involved in violence.
CNN got a copy of the memo and said it allows troops to perform "crowd control, temporary detention and cursory search" duties. And if they need to use force to fulfill those duties, they can.
The reason that gets tricky is because an 1878 law limits the military's power to conduct police action within the U.S.
It appears the order from Kelly tries to address that concern. It says troops should not "conduct traditional civilian law enforcement activities, such as arrest, search, and seizure."
At the end of October, President Donald Trump increased the number of troops ordered to the border. The Department of Defense estimates the price tag for that mission is about $72 million.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.